The Author Goddess is a Tall Poppy

Hello all.  J here.  Happy Saturday.  I’m writing today about the newest milestone we Scribes have sailed past.  After only 5 months of blogging, we have had our first bit of hate mail.  I guess we have arrived!  🙂

One author friend recently told me that she had received an email from a “fan” in which this fan asked her to stop allowing crappy books to be ghost written in her name and go back to writing the good stuff that she built her reputation on.  Or something to that effect. Evidently (according to this fan) everybody hates the books this New York Time Bestselling author writes.  I guess that would be everybody but the tens of thousands of people who continue to buy them, putting the books on the aforementioned Bestselling list. 

I’ve heard tell of another well-known author who got equally constructive criticism from a fan.  “I hate you,” the email said.  Helpful, no?  I guess we don’t have to wonder where Stephen King got the inspiration for his book Misery.

But apparently there is even a name for this phenomenon.  Tall Poppy Syndrome (or TPS) occurs when “people of merit are criticized because their talents distinguish them from their peers”. (Wikipedia – Tall Poppy Syndrome)  One can understand how an Author Goddess (see our earlier post for definition) can be considered a Tall Poppy in need of being taken down a peg. 

So I guess it’s exciting to receive hate mail.  It means we have “merit” and maybe we are even “talented”.  All right, well, ours wasn’t really hate mail so much as it was complaint mail, but still – that counts for something, right?

Today’s Secret: The glass is half full, people.  Like everything in life, hate mail is only important in the way you look at it.  When you get some, remember it means that you have merit and you are talented.  At least according to Wikipedia.

Today’s Question: Have you received hate mail?  Destructive criticism from a “fan”?  Share your story of misery with us…


10 thoughts on “The Author Goddess is a Tall Poppy”

  1. Hate mail brings a big chuckle. Isn’t it true all publicity is good publicity, so if your writing brings mail, whatever kind, people are still reading your writing. Oh well, I like the gold stars myself. Thanks J, for a chance to take a another look at what our potential readers are capable of.

  2. No hate mail yet, although my sister bagged me on the fact that cows do not have seven stomachs. With the miracle of digital publishing, I was able to fix this silly mistake in my book HIFH. I guess I haven’t been published long enough to garner that much attention from the hate mail crowd. Perhaps I should be looking forward to it, huh?

    I’m all about the glass half full, but to coin another phrase, If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything. Constructive criticism is meant to be…well…constructive. Other than that it’s just someone spouting off their personal opinion and bearing their sour grapes attitude. I’ve learned to not take those folks too seriously and I don’t take it personally. Having a thick skin in this business is essential.

    You know what they say about opinions. There just like…I’ll say armpits here…we all have them and they all stink.

    Poppy’s are pretty and they smell nice. I’d rather be one of those.

    1. Well, don’t worry. I’m sure you’ll do well enough to get your very own hate mail… 🙂 Like everything in this business…it just takes time.

  3. No hate mail yet for me, personally. But when I do get some, if Wikipedia says I’m talented and have merit, that’s good enough for me! 🙂

  4. Ohhhhhh, baby, have I gotten some hate mail. For some reason, it has never bothered me. It amazes me that someone felt so strongly about their dislike for me and/or my work that they put in the time and effort to send it. I have a couple that I have saved and pull out when I need a good laugh.

  5. Hi J,
    No hate mail yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. You can’t please all the people all the time, so it’s to be expected. I tend to follow my mother’s advice, “If you don’t have something nice to say, say nothing at all.” Works for me. Keep in mind, there are some folks out there who have made a career out of complaining and would probably find something to complain about in Heaven. I suggest you flush it, forget it, take a deep breath, smile and keep moving forward.

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